Government publications are the official documents brought out at government expense. They are the records of activities of the (1) Executive, (2) Legislature, (3) Judiciary, and (4) Research organisations sponsored by the government and similar others. The authority under which these documents are brought out, may vary, such as a ministry, a department, a government undertaking, an institute or any authorised agency of either central or state government and this authority holds responsibility for the authenticity of the contents of the documents.
Another important type of documents are post-graduate dissertations and doctoral theses submitted to the universities for degrees. They are valuable primary sources which report original work in specific fields. Besides yielding invaluable unpublished information on a specific subject, place or person, these documents have extensive bibliographies and footnotes which are usually of immense use to researchers. These documents often remain unpublished. Since they do not appear in any trade or national bibliography, their existence remains unknown. This creates difficulties in their selection and procurement.
Theses are primarily useful for their original contribution. Subjects dealt with in theses may not have commercial application. Dissertation Abstracts International published by Universal Microfilms Inc. usually covers doctoral theses in several subjects.